I’ve been trying to organize my picture files, which I find almost as exciting as organizing my sock drawer. However, one good thing came out of it (and it wasn’t finding my matching blue-striped fuzzy socks, although I really would like to) – I came across one of my summer projects that never got to be posted! Poor thing.
…into a ‘vintage French’ piece!
My original idea was just to sand the top down to bare wood, and paint the base of the bench.
But do you see those wide panels that run along the front and the back? The bench told me (if you have read my blog, you’ll know that furniture often talks to me) that those spaces were perfect for more typography. So before I knew it (not really—it took forever) I had sanded the entire bench down!
I only worried about removing the old finish. All the knicks, scrapes, and dings are welcome to stick around. That’s character.
Next thing was to choose the perfect graphic (all of my French ads have been found at The Graphics Fairy), print it out, and then take it to an office store to be copied onto an overhead transparency.
Here I am at work…
If you’ve seen my other projects, you’ll notice that I’ve gotten a little smarter. I put this piece up on a folding table so I didn’t have to contort myself on the floor so much!!
And in case you’re wondering…I am using a plain old bottle of acrylic paint. (Others have suggested using paint markers or a Sharpie, but I don’t think they distress as well. You can use whatever suits you best.)
I really dressed up for this impromptu photo shoot, can’t you tell?
This is what the bench looks like before any distressing or staining.
I actually used lines from two other ads for the front and back panels of the bench.
They may or may not make sense with what the top says!
After the paint was completely dry, I distressed the lettering with sandpaper, and then wiped on a coat of Minwax Antique Walnut stain. I finished the bench with a couple of coats of Minwax Polycrylic.
This little bench went with me to an outdoor market in July. It was one of the last projects I finished before going, so it missed out on a ‘formal’ photo shoot in my home! But here’s what it looked like outside on a beautiful July day.
You may not have noticed it, but those two side panels actually hide a lower cubby. I envision this as an entry bench with a place to hide shoes! (I painted the inside black.)
So that’s my little French Bench. If this looks like a project you would like to try, be sure and check around for a used overhead projector. Lots of times you can find them at school surplus sales, or you might even be able to borrow one from your local school.
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